Car accessories and bikes retailer Halfords is trialling selling salt as the big freeze sets in.

Salt supplies have been rushed into 55 stores in areas worst-hit by the wintry conditions in Scotland and northern England and will be on sale from today.  

A 10kg bag of de-icing salt is priced at £6.99. If the trial is successful salt will be rolled out to more branches across the UK.

Halfords winter motoring expert Mark Dolphin said: “Motorists need to be prepared for sudden changes of weather and our new de-icing salt is a safe, convenient and cost effective way to keep paths and driveways clear.”

Heavy snowfall last winter brought about a nationwide shortage of salt across local authorities. The public turned to retailers to supplement salt supplies sending sales of both road and table salt soaring.  

Meanwhile retailers are preparing themselves to fight the icy conditions. Tesco has bought 150 Honda ‘quad ploughs’ to help clear snow from its car parks and spread salt. 3,000 tonnes of salt has been distributed to its UK stores.